Friday, September 18, 2015

15 Minutes of Play again with the Elna TOP 300...

  Here's the Elna TOP 300 again back in the table!  It is a fast machine!   I used it to piece the last piece of the 15 Minutes of Play  quilt self-made fabric I needed to cut the last ten blocks. I have a quarter inch foot I bought for the Mini Ultra and it was the only one that fits the Elna TOP 300. The regular Janome top loading foot and the vertical foot 1/4" feet both either don't fit at all or are wonky on the feed dogs. SO this one is a Distinctive brand foot that has a long blade. I bought it through AMAZON from Mr. Vac and Mrs. Sew and that is one terrific company to deal with. The silly blade just gets in the way, so I pulled it off! I was surprised that pulling it off worked really well. The machine feels great to sew on. The thing for me to remember is that it *IS* all mechanical and I need to raise the needle to the top after each seam. Otherwise the top thread whips out of the threading channel and I have to rethread. Oh how soon we forget! ;) Needle down is doable with your foot pedal as in any mechanical but takes some finesse and practice. I have cut out the darker background fabrics and am now ready to sew the blocks together to make the top. Time to shop batting and backing. Thinking poly high loft batting and some pretty backing fabric. When I piece I pretty much use up the partial bobbins I have and the thread I won't use for quilting. I used both So Fine #50 and cotton Coats machine quilting thread on the piecing. Going to use So Fine #50 for sewing it all together, as well as pre-wound So Fine #60 bobbins, and then I am still thinking over the quilting thread! I do know I am going to quilt this one with the walking foot. I am doing the Craftsy class on Creative Quilting With Your Walking Foot, so there should be some tips there I can use! And yes, I am putting Hello Kitty stickers judiciously on my machines...I love Hello Kitty.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Amy Butler Tent Dress...

So I had this fabric from Amy Butler. A bit heavier than quilting cottons, and probably best suited to a bag. However, I have a bunch of Vera Bradley bags and I am really not in need of a bag at any size. I decided to make a loose fitting tent dress because it has been really hot. Especially back in the end of July when I finally finished the dress.  I had all the pics resized and was going to do the blog entry when my Mac went down. Turned out to be a fried hard drive. I finally got it back with a new drive, but have not felt like blogging. BUT, this is the time! I want to get the dress up even though it makes me look upholstered! It is so comfy and the pattern is great. I did do some alterations on the pattern - I did the sleeve and the bodice alterations I usually do - made the sleeve larger and longer (should have made it a bit shorter) and used my bodice templates for the bodice alterations. also made both front and back higher. The pictures tell the story. I did the back like the front, so the front pic gives you the idea. In the end I have a comfy dress I really like, although I do look a bit upholstered in this dress.
I intend to use this pattern for an "around the house" dress, maybe in a fleece for winter, and the pattern can also be used as a night wear pattern, made shorter as a swing dress, or with long sleeves.  This pattern has been in the New Look stable since 1995! There is good reason for that - it is popular and it is very easy - it is New Look 6352, and is called an EASY 1 HOUR pattern.  I doubt I'd say 1 hour, but maybe after you do your alterations, cut it out and so on, the 1 hour is for the sewing up. I did self binding on the neckline and just turned up the sleeves and hem twice and sewed them.  I do love self binding.  This was the last piece of fabric I had that could be considered garment fabric.

Now to get back to the quilt blocks. I have several more scrappy blocks to sew up, slice and resew, then to cut them and cut the darker background fabric that will fill in the nine patch blocks for the scrappy quilt.

Hoping that the last weeks of Summer into Fall are lovely where ever you are!